Tuesday, March 1, 2011

It Just Doesn't Add Up!

GOP appropriations proposals ostensibly designed to fix the nation's economic problems present a rather thorny problems. Explanations of why you resort to such drastic measures, fall short, way short, of any rational thought as to how they expect these draconian cuts to work.

For instance, by gutting the Department of Labor's Workforce Investment Act funding, you effectively end federal support for job training. With jobs going away due to off shoring and the 'planned obsolescence' owed to innovation, with an escalating drop out rate in our public schools and states from Texas to Wisconsin, inventing ways to defund education to solve their budget woes, not to mention deep cuts in community college funding, job training and retraining are critical solutions to the employment problem. Without job training, tax cuts for corporations crafted to make business more profitable and provide incentive to create jobs would seem to be useless. By ending job training, you have pretty much made it difficult for a great number of the people who need jobs to be able to qualify for the jobs these corporations create. So after the GOP zeros out WIA funds...who pays for job training?!

Dept. of Labor (DOL) reports that the WIA system carried over $1.1 billion from PY 2009 to PY 2010.  This represents a 28% carryover of the total available in PY 2009.  Much of this “carryover” is not actually available though it is shown as “unexpended.” This is because the dollars are either obligated or encumbered, particularly at this time of increased demand for training services.  States and local areas that have provided increased levels of services to meet demand will likely have very little true carryover, if any, to provide services for PY 2011 if these cuts are enacted.   

Federal money makes up 97% the funding that supports workforce centers across Texas. If you're unfamiliar with those, that where the media goes to take shoot those pictures and get those interviews with the unemployed as they go to look for work. The policies of those swept into office in the November 2010 election will result in the closing of 157 of 227 of these centers by July 1 (in Texas), and will increase unemployment by laying of almost 1800 people. And Texas won't will have just that much less of that intrusive Washington D.C. interference we hear so much about - we'll lose $170 million in WIA funding. Those are tax dollars, we've already sent to D.C. that won't be coming back to the state. These are the same programs that have helped nearly 1.5 million Texans find jobs from 2007-2009. 

WorkSource of Dallas County will lose more than $15 million to accompany more than staff cuts of more than 100 people. 

And the budget still won't be balanced!

So explain it to me again. I get that we don't have we have a deficit. I also get that, ideally, we should reduce the deficit to zero, tax people as little as we possible can and provide as little help to as few people as possible. So goes the rationale. 

But how do you get there by increasing unemployment, sucking money out of public and post secondary education and making it more difficult for people without jobs to be trained for the jobs of companies who've been given tax breaks to create those jobs? 

I get it 1+1 MUST now equal 4! That's the only explanation...

If that doesn't make sense to you, call your United States Senator at +12022245922 (or at her Dallas office at +12143613500) or John Cornyn at +12022242934 (or at his Dallas office at +19722391310). Ask them how this is supposed to work. Ask them how this is supposed to work. And then ask them to vote 'no', because I doubt if it will make anymore sense after they've explained it to you. 

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